Virgin Mary never goes where she’s unwanted.
She bows her head to the ecstatic eradicators: tribe haters,
sex haters, haters of the poor.
If they bulldoze her hovel, she has a cousin
in Babylonia; although moving, for Virgin Mary,
predicates cosmological occurrences, avian messengers –
and then there are tickets and passes.
She turns up her palms to heaven.
A fine dust collects.
Virgin Mary has never ventured to the caves of Texas
where bats – “little shudders” – breed like memories.
She has none, you know; no packed bags at Union Station
where bats press themselves flat
against the peeling ceilings. No shuddering
regrets electrify her epidermis like the flit of donkey’s ear.
This defines her innocence: the sadness
she feels for souls consigned to places always cold,
where the only lights are flickers of consciousness
we bring with us.
Life was a book Virgin Mary conned
until that death, so public, the sap dripping along his legs slow
as the unconscious delineation of justice and error.
Getting down his body – unhooking
his hands like drapes from a rod –
only to stop a hole.
Drop your pocket change into my slot.
Modulated by slim levers and a semi-colon
soft packets – one two three –
slip along my galvanized trough
once you pull these yellowing knobs.
A simple mechanism, yes, but
sweet contraction and
and a book of matches.
There are no words to describe the way she hunches
belly resting on thigh, key turned on and she cannot
turn it off, working the brake with her other foot. It’s hard to see
into the distance, sitting like that.
She drives a dichotomous street,
the blood flowing in and out, birth and death, every turn
leading to this one and a line of Hummers, the check point
where she must slow.
They will not like her duct-tape mittens
(as if her hands were very cold) but she cannot roll
down the window with her hands stuck at 10 and 2.
Is it very hot inside her womb as she moves
faster down the street we all travel?
Does she cry, “My God, my God!” or merely “Mary!” ?
She has ever eschewed the first person pronoun, savoring “I” like
a phosphorescence. It’s all the same, isn’t it, whether she
is dead before or after impact?
Turn your hands up to heaven.
Let the eyes of your palms, flaccid
as the maws of lilies,
look to those clouds.
What passes there casts shadows
that move away from where they’re going
and towards you.